WOW Saturday is done. I just finished walking around the dorm checking in on the guys and they seem to be doing fine. Everyone’s exhausted, but that’s Week of Welcome for you. Even after just the first day.
Before the mayhem began this morning, I was reflecting on the providence of God in placing each student in the dorm and on the wing and with the roommate and under the leadership that will be best for him or her.
Both in May and in August I’m constantly checking the housing system and positioning students in housing situations that are consistent with where they requested to live (as much as possible) and that will be best for them spiritually as far as I can tell. Sometimes these two conflict, but generally I can give students the rooms and roommates they want, and can do it with a clear conscience.
With students who are returners (processed in May), the housing is normally very informed. I know who they are, I know where they want to live and who they want to live with, and I have a basic knowledge of what kind of rooming situation would benefit or harm them. Obviously there are a lot of things I don’t know and I do my best not to assume things that aren’t fair for me to assume, but spending nine months observing the dorm community means that I at least gain a general feel for the dorm and for the plusses and minuses of the next year’s housing arrangements.
There is a big difference with the new students, though (processed in August). When I input new students into Oak Manor, I’m just looking at names on a screen. I’ve never met them, and I don’t know their backgrounds or their testimonies or their struggles or their gifts or their personalities or their spiritual needs. Some have housing preferences, but many don’t. Likewise, almost no new students request specific roommates. Therefore they get spread out in the dorms according to a general pattern and priority system that we use. I have been convicted many times over the past month of my need to walk by the Spirit and to depend on the Lord in prayer when I’m doing housing, because a student’s experience at The Master’s College can be radically altered by the simple click of a button, a click that can change their dorm or wing or room assignment or their roommate(s).
It’s not that God has less control over the housing of returning students since I know who they are and can therefore house them more strategically. God is impeccably sovereign and guides my mind and my decisions when I’m working with the returners, too. But I definitely have more of a sense of utter dependence on the Lord when placing the new students in their rooms for the year because (1) I have no idea who they are or what they need or what dorm / wing / RD / RA / roommate / friends would be best for them, but (2) I know that the Lord has incredible plans for each of them and that so much of His plan has to do with their roommates and their living arrangements and the friends that they’ll meet in their dorms.
Today these students arrived. Now I have faces to go with the names. I have begun the process of getting to know them and trying to understand who they are and what role the Lord would have me play in their lives. And as I go to rest tonight, I have so much confidence that the Lord has chosen for each of them to be here at Oak Manor & Cornerstone and that He has a specific, detailed, unassailable plan to sanctify them that I will get to see played out before my eyes this year.
It is humbling to consider providence, and to realize how little we see of the wondrous work of God as He weaves together His perfect plan in the heavenly places and accomplishes it as indestructible reality in the world as we know it. I am blessed to know such a God, and to be granted an awareness of His handiwork in a process so simple as housing at The Master’s College. May the men of Oak Manor & Cornerstone fulfill the purpose for which God has placed them here as they are guided by the Spirit and directed by the Word. Because I’m not the one who placed them here. God did.